Genocide commemoration events to be held in Armenia, U.S.

Genocide commemoration events to be held in Armenia, U.S.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Less than a week remains until this year’s Silence the Lies, Rock the Truth! performance, which commemorates the 99th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. This is the concert’s 6th year bringing artists, the community and human rights organizations together in solidarity to honor the past and make a statement to the world about the strength of the Armenian spirit, Asbarez reports.

“We’ve been preparing for this special show and have a great lineup,” stated Viza oud player Andrew Kzirian.

“It’s been inspiring reaching out to our youth this year in an unprecedented way to encourage participation in what is a great cause. With all the recent headlines and trouble in Kessab and Syria overall, Armenians — and honestly people all over the world — are very concerned with what’s going on. And with this being the 99th year of denial really highlights how important recognition of the Armenian Genocide is today,” he remarked.

“Prime Minister Erdogan has once again show the world that it’s better to sweep things under the rug rather than face the consequences of the past, hence the social media blackout and continued implosion to the truth,” added Viza singer K’noup Tomopoulos.

Silence the Lies, Rock the Truth! is a social justice concert dedicated to raising awareness of the Armenian Genocide. For the past 5 years, socially conscious artists in the Los Angeles area have come together to work with the community through music, activism and commemoration. This year’s concert features headliner Viza, Armenian Public Radio, R-Mean, Wild Betsy, Sam Babayan (from the Dirty Diamond) and Maria Cozette, with music spun throughout the night by DJ HYE FX.

This year, proceeds from the concert will be donated to two needy organizational projects. The Armenian Youth Federation’s Youth Corps 6-week program provides a memorable and productive opportunity for youth to establish and strengthen ties with the homeland, consisting of 4 weeks of volunteer work and 2 weeks of touring. Beginning in 1994, volunteers first came to NKR to help rebuild war-torn villages after the cease-fire. In 2008, the AYF opened a summer camp in Gyumri, Armenia’s second largest city, and continued to empower Diaspora Armenians with more direct roles in nation-building.

On April 23, filmmakers Nubar and Abby Alexanian will present their documentary "Scars Of Silence" at the Worcester Public Library. The screening will be part of a commemoration program observing the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, according to The Telegram.

The documentary focuses on how a father and daughter transcend a century of silence and denial to make peace with the tragic past of their family.

Nubar Alexanian, a native of Worcester now living in Gloucester, is an acclaimed and prolific photojournalist and filmmaker. Abby Alexanian has worked on many of her father's still photography and film projects. She is currently an advocate and program developer in a domestic violence shelter in Ann Arbor, Mich. Nubar and Abby Alexanian will introduce the film and take questions after the screening.

Pasadena will host a vigil in memory of the Genocide victims while the Armenian community of Los Angeles will organize a protest in front of the Turkish Consulate.

In Yerevan, the youth wing of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsutyun will hold traditional torch procession that will start from Freedom Square.The participants will also urge Armenian President to recall signature from the protocols on normalization of relations with Turkey.

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres, and deportations involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, the Italian Chamber of Deputies, majority of U.S. states, parliaments of Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Belgium and Wales, National Council of Switzerland, Chamber of Commons of Canada, Polish Sejm, Vatican, European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

The Armenian-Turkish Protocols

The Protocols aimed at normalization of bilateral ties and opening of the border between Armenia and Turkey were signed in Zurich by Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu on October 10, 2009, after a series of diplomatic talks held through Swiss mediation.

On January 12, 2010, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia found the protocols conformable to the country’s Organic Law.

Commenting on the CC ruling, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “it contains preconditions and restrictive provisions which impair the letter and spirit of the Protocols.” ”The decision undermines the very reason for negotiating these Protocols as well as their fundamental objective. This approach cannot be accepted on our part. Turkey, in line with its accustomed allegiance to its international commitments, maintains its adherence to the primary provisions of these Protocols. We expect the same allegiance from the Armenian government,” the Ministry said.

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